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Ponchatoula man sentenced for child sexual abuse material; possessed thousands of images

NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Edd Scafidel, Jr., age 62, a resident of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment and payment of a mandatory $100 special assessment fee by United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon after previously pleading guilty as charged to an Indictment charging him with receiving images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including children as young as approximately one (1) year old, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2).  Additionally, Judge Fallon ordered that Scafidel serve a five-year period of supervised release and register as a sex offender after he is released from prison, Judge Fallon also scheduled a restitution hearing in the matter on September 16, 2021.

According to court documents, in about November 2018, a complainant knowledgeable with Scafidel’s actions reported to Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Scafidel possessed electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children.  After further investigation, the FBI executed a search warrant at Scafidel’s residence in Ponchatoula, Louisiana on December 4, 2018.  During the execution of the search warrant, Scafidel possessed a leather pouch that contained, among other items, two electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children.  Subsequent forensic analysis determined that Scafidel used computers and external hard drives to search for, download, and store child pornography.  In total, Scafidel downloaded and saved at least 22,334 images depicting the sexual victimization of children, including children less than one year old.  Among the files Scafidel searched for, downloaded, and stored were some that portrayed “sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.”  Specifically, at least one image portrayed the sexual penetration of a conscious, bound prepubescent female.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with support from the Louisiana State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg was in charge of the prosecution.

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